EduDretTIC2012: Tools for collaborative work

Communications session on Tools for collaborative work. Chairs: Ignasi Beltran de Heredia, School of Law and Political Science, UOC

Microblogging in the classroom. From information to participation
Ismael Peña-López & Agustí Cerrillo-Martínez, School of Law and Political Science, UOC

For further details on this communication, please see Microblogging in the classroom. From information to participation.

The blog and the wiki as tools to train teamworking skills
Patricia Escribano Tortajada, Manuel Vial Dumas & Ana María Roncal Oloriz, School of Law and Political Science, UOC.

This is an experience that took place in the subject of Negotiation and Argumentation Techniques during two courses.

A first experience was done by using a blog (WordPress), in which a real case (i.e. strike of air controllers) was simulated. During a first phase, in the blog, the students worked in three groups: the government, customers and the air controllers union. All comments and propositions were written on the blog. The blog was used both for discussion purposes among students and to write the final text of their respective proposals for the further negotiation.

Another experience was done by using a wiki (Wikispaces). This experience used the feature of the wiki to create projects to which students can be allocated. The students then can edit the wiki page of their corresponding group, and where they would write the document that the assignment required. The good thing of the wiki is that the history and the discussion page features that allow the teacher to follow or review the whole process of creation of a specific wiki page.

The grading of the collaborative work was done in two steps: 50% corresponding to the final text, and the same note for every member of the group; and 50% corresponding to the discussion process and different for every individual.

One of the problems of this kind of collaborative work is that it demands a higher level of interaction between students and, thus, even if it is an asynchronous methodology, it is “more synchronous” than a different methodology where anyone can set their own pace of learning.

e-Teaching tools. The use of social networking sites in the subject “Human Rights and democratic values”
Isabel Victoria Lucena Cid, Universidad Pablo de Olavide.

The use of social networking sites has been applied to the subject:

  • To improve the sense of an academic community and to promote collaborative work.
  • Benefit from the possibilities that offer these tools and introduce them in the learning environment to make the relations among students and among students and teachers more collaborative, more informal, more comfortable especially for the students.

Social networking sites have been used to enrich the syllabus with third parties’ resources that anyone could share, and to discuss and debate on the topics of the subject. In this particular experience, the teacher created a group on Facebook and the students would share videos and news on the “wall” of the Facebook group.

On the other hand, social networking sites themselves became a matter of discussion, as some pages used by the Spanish indignants were analysed during the course.

The students state that this practice helped them in finding and sharing supporting materials for the subject. Also, the exposure of having the debates fully publicly also provided valuable experience to the students, that received plenty of comments, no only from their classmates but also by people not belonging to the course.

The online forum tool phpBB. Initial assessment of the experience at UOC
Marc Vilalta Reixach, School of Law and Political Science, UOC.

Main strengths of the phpBB:

  • A single space can be used for several purposes and multiple discussion threads.
  • The RSS feed enables subscription and, thus, being noticed without the need to access the forum to check for updates.
  • Possibility to evaluate the students’ contributions by any user.
  • The tag-cloud helps to identify the main topics dealt with in the forum.
  • Possibility to link and embed third parties’ resources inside the forum, which enables the inclusion of further learning material beyond what was initially planned in the syllabus.

The asynchronous nature of the forum (vs. a chat) has helped the students to better support their interventions, but without a sense of interruption within the discussion. The possibility to evaluate the posts or having one’s own posts evaluated has of course been an incentive to work harder on them, as quantitative feedback was immediate and public for everyone.


Ignasi Beltran de Heredia: how can one assess +300 tweet or +150 editions on a wiki? Ismael Peña-López, Manuel Vial: it certainly requires a higher degree of implication of the teacher, that now has to follow more closely what is happening in the classroom. Thus, assessment is not done at the end of the course, but almost on a daily basis.


3rd Conference on Law Education and Information and Communication Technologies (2012)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2012) “EduDretTIC2012: Tools for collaborative work” In ICTlogy, #105, June 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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